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Northland Pines Middle School Reviews

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I am an advanced student academically, so I may have a different review than most students who have attended NPMS. In my grade level, topics in the classes were interesting, but the material was very easy for me. I'd let a topic slip, and my homework wasn't that big of a deal to me because it wasn't challenging and I got bored with it. I went from a 4.0 to a 3.6 in a quarter due to this, but I'm an exception, and most people were fairly challenged and enjoyed their work. I absolutely loved my seventh grade classes. They were a good fit for me. The workload was lower but the work should be pretty challenging.
I mean, it's school food. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad. The one thing I always hated was the pancakes/breakfast for lunch ensemble. When I attended, the pancakes were so hard you could throw them like discs and crack them on a hard surface. Crunchy and dry, even with added syrup. I hear that's changed. What hasn't changed are the "omelettes". They're not even eggs, and the cheese is fake too. I mean, I understand the egg thing because of allergies, but they get cold fast, they're slimy, and they're just gross. I don't think anyone likes them. They're not served often, though. I have also recieved word that now, multiple entree options are available to students at NPMS daily instead of just one. Apparently there is an option for pizza and some sort of chicken every day if you want it, or if the daily choice isn't appealing, and that's cool. I wish I could have had that option in sixth grade. Man, I would have loved to escape those eggs.
It's not bad, but I wouldn't say it's excellent, at least from my experience. Some teachers are more picky (for lack of a better word) than others. Usually it's okay but sometimes there's a little attitude - expected, there are many reasons for a teacher or other staff to be stressed, especially in the third and fourth quarters of the year, I don't blame them. They've gotten a new principal since I've left and many of my friends still attending say they like him better than the previous principal we had when I attended. He's certainly got more Pines pride.
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It's a small school. They have one wing with three hallways (the rest goes to the elementary), and they have another hallway past the cafeteria for art/tech ed/gym, so they may not have as much, but it gets put to use. Very average. Our middle school building does not have an auditorium, it have an LGI (Large Group Instruction) room, which isn't often used by middle school students except for Student Council meetings. Instead, they use the high school's auditorium, which is very large and honestly a gorgeous place, used by the community as well as by the school.

Guidance counsellors... we have one. He's awesome. He may be busy a lot, but you can tell he really cares.

I don't know what technology they use now, as a lot can change in two years, but I think it's fairly caught up with the charter school. Back in 2012-2013 I think it was pretty average.
NPMS shares fitness facilities with NPHS, so this kinda overlaps here, but in 2006 came a new high school building complete with a huge fieldhouse with basketball/volleyball courts, a climbing wall, and tons of other cool stuff (unfortunately, they don't have a pool, which is a shame, because I always wanted to be on a swim team). Our school weight/fitness room is open to anyone 6th grade+, and I've only used it once (I have my own gym membership elsewhere) but from what I remember, it's nice. Small, but nice.
Most teachers during my sixth grade year were phenomenal, especially my teachers for ELA 7 and CC2. The seventh grade teachers went out of their way to make me feel comfortable in a classroom with kids a year older than I was. When group projects weren't spread equally, they never ignored the issue. They dealt with it head on and gave grades to the people who deserved it. If I or another student was struggling with completing work, they would talk to us and try to make a plan instead of just notifying us of a problem we already were very aware of. I felt very connected with each and every one of my teachers. I heard many of my friends complain, and often, but they were, are, and always will be troublemakers, lol.
I went in sixth grade before I left for the charter school. Peer pressure was only starting to become a problem, and from what I've seen, it's progressed to be worse as my classmates got older. It seems the eighth grade, no matter what year, always has this overall drama problem. But, oh my god, was sixth grade great. I felt more accepted than I'd ever been at that point. I guess that's just an age thing.

Students aren't like 100% involved, and some are a tad unenthusiastic, but NPMS is a tight-knit school, a little bit like a family of its own, so the people who are involved aren't made to feel bad by the others and vice versa. This all is due to its size, I think. I think it's less than 300 students, grades 6-8?

As for racial diversity? Yes, the school is by a huge majority white, but that's because it's small, and so is our community. Non-white students aren't seen as different, and they are treated as equals, even though their numbers are small.
There definitely aren't as many choices as there are at some of the other local schools, and even the high school, but the extracurriculars affiliated directly with NPMS are pretty good. I was in the cheerleading program (and, in fact, still am), and we're one of the only cheerleading programs in this part of the state. When we cheered at other games, it was a rarity to have another squad at the other side of the field. Students from neighboring districts join often, and three of our girls are from the new charter school. I am one of those. There's not much for variety, though. Especially with non-athletic clubs. Last time I checked, there were two and one of them was failing, but only due to a lack of members. There's definitely more open to you when you start freshman year.
The school is fairly safe. It's very small, so it doesn't need as many protective measures as a large city's middle school would. Drills are held often. People know what to do. When it comes to bullying, many things can be done. They have an anonymous box by each bathroom in the middle school wings with a pencil and notecards handy to report bullying if reporting to a teacher or counsellor directly isn't an option. As for health, things are handled... okay. The school nurse is only seen for injuries that involve blood and lice checkups. Otherwise, you'd go to the office and the secretary would handle it. It's an okay school, not bad for this kinda thing, not bad at all for a school of this size.
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